The man in the war surplus store said you had to lie
In the twenties when he sold shoes to women
With greater-than-size-five feet. Now he sells
To us the men’s clothes, clodhoppers, and creels with a
Sense of honesty. He says his boss tells him this is
Not a high-class store.
But what a cheap
Good life it could provide: mattresses—thin,
Black and white, stacked dailies; or hammered beefsteaks;
Baklava or weighty tortes—buy one and sleep
Or imagine you own all its likenesses. Here is a buxom
Cubic “pillow” with a slit to accommodate even a large
Tired of traffic (yet I can’t imagine backwards
To what it genuinely is).
A frayed signal flag . . .
Certain prayer-rags a Missouri radio revivalist sends
For a considerable donation.
Towards the back the must
Thickens, towards the corridor dressing room between
And window. From there one can spy the boss,
Nosed and moustached like a Greek fisherman though
wearing a pink
Blotched sailor hat, camouflage if he fights
In rhododendrons. How good to be counted among
The surplus, the extra like cream that never reached
So the khaki is worn out on women and workingmen
And we pay only small prices for items from the tables
As numerous as the States.
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